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Bestselling children’s book artist/author and Massachusetts resident, Jan Brett, will appear in Plainville, MA, on Friday, November 24.

Brett is the New York Times #1 bestselling artist/author of more than 35 books for children which have sold more than 40 million copies combined. Her books have been chosen as “Best Children’s Books of the Year” by The New Yorker, Parents, Redbook, and others.

Brett, who lives in Norwell, MA, will arrive in her colorful rock star-type bus for the 5 pm event at An Unlikely Story, 111 South Street, Plainville, MA. This is one stop on her 23-city tour across the country.


What: Best-selling artist/author Jan Brett event
When: 5 pm, Friday, November 24, 2017
Where:  An Unlikely Story, 111 South Street, Plainville, MA
Contact: 508-699-0244


Brett’s latest book, THE MERMAID (Putnam) is an underwater version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears starring a mermaid and three octopuses. Brett is well-known for taking extensive research trips to all corners of the globe for her books and including special cultural flourishes in her highly detailed art. Her illustrations are renowned for their classic beauty and life-like images.

THE MERMAID took her to the reefs off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, where the book is set. She also experienced a “tentacles-on” experience at the New England Aquarium’s Giant Pacific Octopus Exhibit, where she was astounded by their intelligence and curiosity for human interaction. Brett’s love of nature and strong support of conservation is strongly reflected in her work.

So much happening this summer at Providence Community Library (PCL), which provides daily fun, great books, and special performances at nine neighborhood locations. The Library helps school age students get stamps for their Passports to Summer Learning, learn how to track their activities using Providence READsquared software, complete PCL game cards and earn prizes for reading just 20 minutes every day! Additionally, PCL’s Mobile Library will visit 10 Providence elementary Schools and 10 City-run Recreation Center camps on a regular weekly schedule and offer Ready for Kindergarten workshops for young children preparing to enter school in the fall. Families can access Providence Schools reading lists, eBooks, digital learning resources and stay up-to-date with the full schedule of programs and activities at

Encouraging a child to read on a daily basis is the single most important thing a family can do for a child over the summer. Why is summer reading so important?

9:00AM - 12:00PM         Anthony Carnevale School, 50 Springfield Street (02909)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM           Pleasant View School, 50 Obediah Brown Road (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM         Harry Kizirian School, 60 Camden Avenue (02908)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM           William D’Abate School, 60 Kossuth Street (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM         Feinstein at Sackett, 159 Sackett Street (02907)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM           Frank D. Spaziano School, 85 Laurel Hill Ave./240 Laban St. (02909)
9:00AM - 12:00PM         Young/Woods School, 674 Prairie Avenue (02905)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM           Reservoir Avenue School, 156 Reservoir Avenue (02907)
9:00AM - 12:00PM         Mary Fogarty School, 199 Oxford Street (02905)*
1:30PM - 4:30PM           Leviton Dual Language School, 65 Greenwich Street (02907)
*Ready for Kindergarten sites

Ready for Kindergarten programs for children entering Kindergarten in 2017 or 2018 will consist of weekly, two-hour, morning workshops running over seven weeks under shade tents, offering interactive learning stations, circle time and special story-telling and story acting exercises. Children must be accompanied by parent or caregiver. Contact Cheryl Space to register or for more information.

The Mobile Library will provide services to Providence Recreation Day Camps taking place near to the school sites in a partnership with the Healthy Communities Office and Providence Recreation Department. Youth will read and participate in literacy-rich activities every day as part of their camp experience, led by Providence high school and college students who are being hired as part of Providence's summer youth employment program.

Youth up to age 18 who visit the mobile library, either independently or with their families, will qualify for a free breakfast at the morning school sites (9:00 – 10:00) and a free lunch at the afternoon school sites (1:30 – 2:30) from July 3 to  August 18 as part of the City of Providence’s Summer Meals Program. The Program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides kids and teens in low-income areas with free meals during the long summer recess.

“We are delighted to support the Mayor's summer learning initiative and work with our partners Providence Schools, the Healthy Communities Office and the Providence Recreation Department to keep Providence children reading and learning throughout the summer.” said PCL Library Director, Jeff Cannell. ”We want to create a love of lifelong learning in the students because that’s the most important thing that the library can do,” he added.

For more information about PCL’s summer learning opportunities, visit

About the Passport to Summer Learning:
An initiative of Providence Public Library and presenting partners PCL, Mayor Jorge Elorza/City of Providence, and Providence Public Schools, the 2017 Passport to Summer Learning has been distributed to 15,000 students in grades K – 5.  Now in its third year, the Passport to Summer Learning is a collaborative initiative to address summer learning loss and mitigate achievement gaps among children with the least access to community assets and educational resources. For more about the Passport to Summer Learning, visit

About the United Way RI Grant:
PCL’s  grant for “Summer Reading in the Schoolyard” was awarded by United Way in 2016 for the 2016-2019 competitive grant cycle, with a focus on funding efforts that help kids fall in love with learning, help adults reach new career goals, and help families meet their basic needs. In total, United Way has awarded $3.1 million in grants among the $12 million it has committed through 2019 to help change the lives of 250,000 Rhode Islanders by 2020, the overarching goal of its new strategic plan, LIVE UNITED 2020.

IMAGES: The PCL Mobile Library; young artists at work in the open air at a mobile library site.

Tuesdays (starting July 11) from 3-6pm in Burnside Park, Downtown Providence.
Free fun for all ages.
Kidoinfo is proud partner of Play in the Park teaming up with Jen Smith of Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy and company to bring family friendly activities to Burnside Park. There is something new each week!Plus Every Tuesday, from 3 – 6pm, the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, in partnership with FarmFreshRI, is bringing a selection of local farmers and producers to Washington Street for the Downtown Farmer’s Market. Don’t miss you chance to stop by and pick up delicious fresh produce and foods made by local producers.Tuesday, July 11, join us in Burnside Park as we kick off our summer programming.

July 11
playSCIENCE with Miss Katie, fun music + science exploration!

July 18 
Superhero Day! and World Instruments finger painting with Heidi!
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm

July 25
Powerful Percussion! Join Miss Katie as we explore all of the sounds we can make on a drum! We’ll play drums big and small, and experiment with making our own shakers. We’ll test our ears and see if we can guess what’s inside Miss Katie’s Rainbow Egg Shakers. Take your shaker home and see if anyone can guess what’s inside!

August 1
Ocean fun finger painting with Heidi!

August 8
HONK! Festival Ballet Providence brings to life the delightful story of a swan who wants to be a ballerina for the Play In The Park on August 8th.  Hear the telling of HONK: The Story of a Prima Swanerina written by Pamela Duncan Edwards.  A ballerina from FBP will be there to perform an expert from the ballet Swan Lake.  FBP Director of Community Engagement will teach the children a swan dance and assist them in creating a swan craft.

August 15 
Superhero Day!
Plus, Sidy Maiga hosts an open drum circle from 5-6pm

August 22
Providence Children’s Film Festival Animation Workshop

Looking forward to seeing you in the park on Tuesday, July 11!

Save Me a Seat High Res (1)Kids Reading Across Rhode Island (KRARI), the ‘one book, one state’ initiative to transition the joys of reading from the classroom to summer vacation for students in grades 3-6, kicks off its 8th year with the 2017 award-winning book, Save me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan. Internationally acclaimed storyteller Len Cabral chairs the 2017 KRARI program featuring a May 13th kickoff event with a presentation and book signing by authors Weeks and Varadarajan at the State House, whose marble halls bustle with activities and games presented by Rhode Island libraries and community organizations. Every family participating receives one free autographed copy of the book (while supplies last). Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a partnership of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services to inspire young readers to keep their school supported reading momentum going through their summer vacation.

About This Year’s Book  Save Me a Seat
Veteran writer Sarah Weeks and first-time author Gita Varadarajan address common middle school fears of two young characters struggling to find their way.  Joe and Ravi are from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Librarians across the country recommend the book as a read-aloud forcing the listener to walk in someone else’s shoes. Save me a Seat, full of empathy and humor, explores issues of diversity, culture, assumptions and parenting styles.

About the Authors
Award-winning writer Sarah Weeks (PieSo B. It) and India-born debut author Gita Varadarajan present a poignant, comical cultural exchange in the alternating voices of two fifth-grade boys. Sarah Weeks’ first YA novel, So B. It, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the 2004 Parent's Choice Gold Award and her Regular Guy series has resulted in a development deal with Disney for a feature length live-action film. She has two grown sons and lives in New York City.

Gita Varadarajan was born and raised in India. She has worked with children all over the world, and now teaches second grade in Princeton, N.J. Save Me a Seat, written with Sarah Weeks, is her first novel.

About Kids About Reading Across Rhode Island
RI Center for the Book kids 2017FULLKRARI, the summer reading initiative for students in grades 3-6, encourages students across the state to read the same book and engage in community discussions and programs that integrate school and summer reading. Now in its 8th year, KRARI begins in classrooms, school libraries, and public libraries with discussion groups centered on the selected book. Students, teachers, parents, and librarians rally at the annual May Kick-Off Event at the State House where they may meet the authors in-person, receive a free, signed copy of the book, participate in activities related to the themes of the book, and learn more about summer reading programs with local libraries and community partners. Programming continues in public libraries throughout the summer, expanding into summer reading programs that introduce new books and encourage continued reading beyond the assigned school curriculum. The 2017 statewide children’s summer reading theme is Build a Better World! Kids Reading Across Rhode Island receives major funding from TD Bank and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Sets of books are available to classroom teachers and library discussion groups by contacting Further reading lists, book discussion guides, the author’s website, audio interviews and other supplementary material may be found on the websites of Rhode Island Center for the Book and the Office of Library and Information Services.

About Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities is a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. The Center was founded in 2003 as the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and is hosted by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. The Humanities Council’s mission is to seed, support, and strengthen public history, cultural heritage, civic education, and community engagement by and for all Rhode Islanders. As part of this ambitious mission, Rhode Island Center for the Book promotes a love for books among people of all ages and backgrounds across Rhode Island.

About The Office of Library and Information Services
The Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) is the state library agency for Rhode Island. OLIS supports and strengthens library and information services in the state to ensure that all residents will benefit from free and convenient access to library and information resources and services. OLIS supports children's library services statewide by facilitating reading promotion and educational activities, through advocacy for children’s library services, and through collaboration with other state agencies and non-profit organizations, including school/public library cooperation.


Right now, so many of us are seeking to connect the children in our lives with bridges, empathy, and empowerment in the face of separation, misunderstanding, and fear. While the values we impart are rooted in our adult-child relationships, we also pave the way to a wider world-view beyond day-to-day experience.

four feetBooks are one portal to understanding and simply looking from another person's perspective, as Atticus Finch nudged Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Below is a collection of reading lists compiled from organizations passionate about the power of books to raise collective consciousness through stories celebrating diversity and illuminating common human experience. Some of the titles can be purchased from the linked sites directly, and many titles are available through the Rhode Island libraries. Additionally, Providence Children's Museum's Coming to Rhode Island exhibit features books and activities that "investigate culture and diversity and encourage empathy" in the Story Center.

Special thanks to Romy Natalia Goldberg for pointing the way to suggestions for this list. Natalia is a travel writer ( and parent who is shifting to writing and advocating for multicultural children's literature.

Talking about how we raise community minded kids, seems as relevant today as it was when first posted in 2011. Check out our booklists and download the PDF for for some guidance and useful suggestions.

How do we raise our children to be thinkers and doers and to care about the world around them? I invited five community-minded parents and the community to share resources and ideas at AS220 on May 25, 2011. Some of the ideas discussed; Tell stories and read to your children about people with different experiences and from different cultures, teach them to be socially responsible by being a role model–sometimes it is the simple everyday things we do such as where and what we shop and how we treat our neighbors that teaches our children to care about the world around them. If you missed the conversation, join in now. Watch the video here.

Download a PDF version of the CMK Field Guide here. *If you would like to special order a large quantity of CMK Field Guides, please contact Anisa (at) Kidoinfo (dot) com.


I believe books are important to share with our kids at any age. Here are books recommendations from local experts that support the idea of kids learning a sense of self, diversity, tolerance, compassion for others, awareness of their sense of place in the world, and social responsibility to their community.

BOOK LIST FROM LINDSAY SHAW, children’s librarian at the Providence Athenaeum






BOOK LIST FROM CHERYL SPACE, youth services coordinator / library program specialist at Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services, BONNIE LILIENTHAL, Providence Public Library and AARON COUTU, Greenville Public Library





BOOK LIST FROM ANISA RAOOF, publisher of Kidoinfo


Resource Books:

Kidoinfo Presents: Raising Community-Minded Kids Conversation from Kidoinfo on Vimeo.

The RI Comic Con is a major event in the Rhode Island calendar but many Providence kids and teens can't buy tickets or travel to the big convention. That's why Providence Community Library is hosting Alt-Comic Con at Mount Pleasant Library on Saturday, November 12th, 1:00PM-5:00PM, to give them a taste of convention day excitement. Suitable for all ages, "Alternative" Comic Con is a free, interactive event that provides local youth with a chance to meet and be inspired by city artists who are actively pursuing creative careers.


The library will transform into a mini convention hall; Big Nazo will show off some of its amazing creature creations, Providence Comics Consortium will exhibit comic books created by kids at its workshops, and Providence Roller Derby girls will drop by to support a discussion of Victoria Jamieson's bestselling graphic novel, "Roller Girl." Artists from the Dirt Palace artists' collective and Providence Comics Consortium will create a giant window display and Providence CityArts for Youth also will be on hand to add to the creative flavor of the day. As a free bonus, Alt-Comic Con attendees will be able to dig through donated comic books and take one home at the end of the day.

"The idea is to introduce kids and teens to people and organizations in Providence who are working creatively in the fields of technology, art and pop culture," said event organizer Emily LeMay. "We hope that they will inspire young people to pursue artistic endeavors and possibly consider pursuing a career in creative arts."

Mount Pleasant Library is at 315 Academy Avenue, Providence. For more information about Alt-Comic Con, contact Emily LeMay or Sarah Gluck, call 401-272-0106 or visit

Anisa Raoof accepts a Dorry on behalf of Providence Children's Film Festival

Anisa Raoof accepts a Dorry on behalf of Providence Children's Film Festival

In recognition of the region's "best, most interesting art and culture" The Law and Order Party held its first annual award celebration, the Dorrys, on September 27. Matthew Lawrence's  Law and Order Party: 365 Things To Do In Rhode Island This Year is a website, event calendar, and weekly newsletter that highlights one local cultural event for every day of the year (some suitable for kids, others events are the perfect break from parental duties), in addition to guides and features including "movie lounge" and "restaurant madness". Fun fact: "Law and Order Party" and the "Dorrys" are a throwback to the Rhode Island political party of the 1840's at the time of the Dorr Rebellion, not embracing any affiliation but simply the quirkiness that weaves through the Rhode Island identity.

The Dorry award winners represent the best of local creative forces, from the trailblazers to the enduring in categories of art, books, drama, film, music and performance. We've assembled a handful of noteworthy winners that have been particularly impactful on kids and families in the Ocean State including the non-profit organizations Manton Avenue Project, Providence Children's Film Festival, Girls Rock! Rhode Island, and Everett, working directly with Rhode Island youth to nurture creative expression and skills.

Visit the Law and Order Party: 365 Things To Do In Rhode Island This Year to view the calendar and subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter of artful and interesting Rhode Island happenings to explore.

The Ricky Rainbow Beard ShowYou may know Ricky, artist-in-resident from Kidoinfo Storytime and Art in the Park summer series in Burnside Park. Happy to share and promote his creative genius and newest project: The Ricky Rainbow Beard Show. Check it out!

The Ricky Rainbow Beard ShowThe Ricky Rainbow Beard Show posterThe Ricky Rainbow Beard Show
What it is: a children's variety show that includes costumed characters, puppets, video, music, dancing, crayons, and a special guest star
When: Tuesday, October 4 @ 5pm
Where: Aurora Providence - 76 Westminster St, Providence, RI 02903
All ages
Cost: $7 per person


Kidoinfo + Downtown Parks Conservancy present: Summer Family Fun on the Plaza in Burnside ParkKidoinfo-DDPC-Banner

Tuesdays and Thursdays (July and August). FREE. All Ages.

Storytime @ Burnside Park 7.14.11

Now in its 7th year, Kidoinfo has partnered with Jen Smith of the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy to create FREE weekly summer events, both fun and enriching, that attracts hundreds of families to downtown Providence.

Downtown Tuesdays! Kidoinfo Play in the Park

Every Tuesday (July 5 - August 30) from 3-6pm
Music, games, educational activities, a Free-Play Mobile Playground and more for kids of all ages! Added bonus: Food trucks and Farm Fresh Rhode Island Downtown Farmer's Market!

Designed to support and encourage children’s playtime: Music, games, educational activities and more for kids of all ages along with weekly enrichment programming from community partners. This year, Kidoinfo will be teaming up with playSCIENCE in July and August to offer hands-on fun. Miss Katie will be leading nature-oriented expeditions and musical shindigs to enlighten our little ones.


DPPC_Storytime+ArtThursdays on the Plaza! Kidoinfo Storytime + Art in the Park: Making on the Moon!

Every Thursday (July 7 - August 18)
10:30am - 12:30pm
Families bring a blanket and enjoy different storytellers under the trees near the fountain in Burnside Park followed by art-making with guest artist Ricky Katowicz.
With PVD Food Trucks @ Kennedy Plaza (11:30am-1:30pm)
And later on Thursday: Family-friendly music series and beer garden from 4:30 — 7:30pm


Open Air Reading Room and Imagination Center At Our Open Air Reading Room browse books featured in past Storytimes, as well as books from our Leave a Book - Take a Book program. Explore with our Imagination Playground and new Imagination Theatre!

Imagination Center

GET WITH THE PROGRAM! Donations for our “Leave a Book — Take a Book” bin are sought for the series. Your donations can make it possible for any child who needs or wants a book to take one home with them and keep the excitement about stories and books going! If you want information about how you can get involved and support this free, high-quality & accessible family programming, email:

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS: City of Providence, The Dept. of Arts Culture & Tourism, Dept. of Parks + Recreation, Greater Kennedy Plaza, Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy, Providence Foundation, Providence Tourism Council, RISCA, Hasbro, Inc., Kidoinfo, Books on the Square.

Big Nazo-Kidoinfo-Storytime

Family Fun on the Plaza Schedule:

Burnside Park, Downtown Providence, Rhode Island

Week 1 :
Tuesday, July 5: Play in the Park

Thursday, July 7: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 2 :
Tuesday, July 12: Play in the Park

Thursday, July 14: Storytime and Art in the ParkKidoinfo-Storytime-BurnsidePark
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 3:
Tuesday, July 19: Play in the Park

Thursday, July 21: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 4:
Tuesday, July 26: Play in the Park


Thursday, July 28: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 5:
Tuesday, August 2: Play in the Park

Thursday, August 4: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm


Week 6:
Tuesday, August 9: Play in the Park

Thursday, August 11: Storytime and Art in the Park
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 7:
Tuesday, August 16: Play in the Park

Thursday, August 18: Storytime and Art in the Park Closing Event
10:30am — 12:30pm

Week 8:
Tuesday, August 23: Play in the Park

Week 9:
Tuesday, August 30: Play in the Park

Kidoinfo-Storytime-Burnside Park


Location: Under the trees near the fountain in Burnside Park, Kennedy Plaza
Rain/Heat location: Aurora, 276 Westminster Street, Providence, RI
Parking: Metered street parking. Park in the mall parking lot. $2 for up to 3 hours. Or check for schedules.
Food: Bring a picnic or buy food from an array of local food trucks.
Ages: All ages
Cost: Free event

Story hours are a great way to discover new books with your child. Oftentimes kids love to hear their favorites over and over. Find them at the local library. When we want to a buy a copy for our own personal collection, we love to support local bookstores.

Here’s a list of some of our favorites:
- Books on the Square: 471 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
- Barrington Books — 184 County Rd. Barrington, RI, 02806
- Myopic Books — 5 South Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906
- Symposium Books — 240 Westminster Street, Providencea is published by Gale Force Communications

Mailing address:
57 Rolfe Square, PO Box 10094
Cranston, Rhode Island 02920


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